04/13/2013 04:03 EDT | Updated 06/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Overnight workers rally for 'Grant's Law'

Demonstrators staged overnight protests on Friday, calling the province to reverse changes to safety regulations meant to protect overnight staff working at gas stations and retail stores.

The safety regulation, commonly known as Grant’s Law, was named after Grant De Patie, a young Maple Ridge gas station attendant who was killed trying to prevent a robbery in 2005.

The law initially required late-night workers to either be physically separated from the public with a locked door or to work in pairs.

But last April the regulation was changed, giving employers a third option: requiring time lock safes for cash, surveillance systems, personal emergency transmitters and regular security audits.

On Friday, protestors spent the night outside convenience stores in Vancouver, Nanaimo and Victoria, calling for the changes to be reversed.

“People are being put in danger and there is no reason for it other than for these companies to make some money by not having the extra staff on,” said Stephen Von Sychowski, spokesman for Employee Action & Rights Network.

“We know from police statistics that most of the crimes, robberies, things that put people in danger at these types of work locations, they happen during late night hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m,” he said. “And yet during those hours, is when there’s the least staff on.”

De Patie died after being dragged seven kilometres underneath a car after he was run over by a driver who stole $12 worth of gas.